Bird Watching Cruises in Devon

Our Guided Bird Watching Cruises are ideal for anyone who would like to see the many thousands of birds that migrate to the area during the autumn and winter months.

Suitable for beginners and beneficial to experts these cruises have a full commentary throughout from ornithologists Dave Smallshire and Derek Carter.

You will discover and learn all about the species, habitat and behaviors of the thousands of birds on the Exe Estuary and East Devon Coast. 

The award-winning Chunk of Devon pasties – both steak and vegetarian – are available to pre-order and the hot and super tasty Rod & Bens organic soup is available on board.

In light of the current pandemic, we do have a number of enhanced safety measures in place on board our vessels. To view our COVID_19 Safety Information, please click here 

Sailing: Varying dates from November through to March
Duration: 3 hours
Adults: £12.50
Children: £12.50*
Groups of 15 or more: £10.00

*Please note that due to the length and nature of these cruises, we do not recommend them for young children.

If the cruise you would like is showing as fully booked, please call us on 01395 222144 and we will be able to add you to our Reserve List

Throughout our Guided Bird Watching Cruises you will have a commentary on the species, habitat, feeding methods and behaviors of the birds that are visible from three of our favourite ornithologists;

Dave Smallshire

An avid bird watcher for over 50 years, with a special interest in wetland birds. Dave has an intimate knowledge of the Exe Estuary’s wildlife, which has been his ‘local patch’ for over 30 years. He does the Wetland Bird Survey counts every month on the estuary between Starcross and Dawlish Warren. His interests span all aspects of wildlife, notably dragonflies – about which he has written a highly acclaimed field guide.

Derek Carter

A volunteer with Devon Wildlife Trust and helped out for over 8 years with the RSPB in East Devon & The Exe Estuary.  He is an avid local wildlife enthusiast and has had a love of birds from an early age.  Living in Exmouth, with the Exe Estuary in his back yard, Derek is well situated to keep up to date with the flow of birds during the Winter period. Derek is a very keen wildlife photographer capturing many of the estuary’s visitors throughout the seasons. He also gives talks to local groups and schools in the area about the birds seen in the local area, especially the Exe Estuary, and does guided walks to small groups or individuals on request.

Alongside the live commentary, you will also be given a Bird Watching Checklist for you to mark off the birds that you have seen on your cruise – a great souvenir to take home!

The multi award winning Chunk of Devon pasties are available to pre-order as a welcomed warmer and our Rod & Bens organic soup is also on board with our seasonal favourites.

Our boats have inside heated lower decks with large windows for great viewing and outside upper decks for the whole outdoor experience!  There is a fully licenced bar on board serving a range of local ales and gin, alongside a range of hot and cold refreshments and snacks.  Whilst our boats are modern, they also keep their traditional features, they are exceptionally clean, well maintained and there are toilets on board.

These cruises are an excellent way of enjoying the stunning winter scenery alongside experiencing the many types of birds who choose to make the River Exe their home for the winter!


For group bookings of 15 or more we tailor a schedule to suit your needs. Please call us as the timetable listed is not intended for group bookings.

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